The past week I had the honour of attending and presenting at the Cascadia open education summit. I would love to go into detail what I had learned there but alas that is another post for another time. What I do want to talk about right now is how safe I felt at this conference. I have attended many conferences in my career. This was the first conference I have ever attended that I fully felt like I was with my people. I was surrounded with people who put students first, who advocated for those who could barely afford their tuition, let alone their textbooks. People, who from what I could tell, were extremely interesting and lovely people. It is times like these, surrounded by people like these that get my creative juices flowing.

Every song starts with a single note.

I love music. Well, to be honest, that may be a bit of an understatement. Passionate? Obsessed? Crazy about? As long as I can remember music has come into my life and offered something most people couldn’t.

  • It helped guide me through an awkward, uncomfortable adolescence.
  • It gave me comfort in a home where things were not always that comfortable.
  • It helped me celebrate the highs and lows of my 20’s.
  • Held me through a divorce and hi-fived me as I found love again.
  • Each of my three kids (fourth on the way) has a theme song that I gave them on the day they were born.

Yup, music is part of my DNA.

So what does this have to do with open pedagogy?

I want to try something out. I may be the only participant and I’m ok with that. I want to try a collaborative playlist. When I was younger you showed how much you cared about someone by making them a mixtape. I would spend hours picking a theme, pouring through my music library, making sure the song transitions were solid, and then the almost impossible task of having the right amount of songs on each side of the tape. I am not far off by saying that it was an art form.

I want to make a mixtape for open pedagogy.

These days we can do the same thing. We can create playlists and share them with others. What I am proposing is creating an Open Pedagogy Playlist. I have set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify (click here). I would love for you to add your voice to the mix. I want to hear what you’re listening to, what inspires you, what songs make you cry, what songs cause the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up, what songs make you want to be a better version of yourself?

I am also starting a google doc (click here) where we can all contribute our choices. I am hoping that this is a place we can share our stories. Tell a story about your song choices. It can be a sentence, it can be a paragraph, it can be a novella. I just know that music can play such a big part in our lives and there always is a story isn’t there?

I’ll get the ball rolling by starting with 10 songs (I am showing great restraint here). I would love to hear your stories, your songs, I look forward to being brought into a small piece of your world and I am looking forward to sharing a small piece of mine with you.

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